The path from the ferry landing dock seemed the longest ever. It gave Vivian more time to think about everything, which was not helping the strange, uncomfortable feeling in her stomach, the shaky legs and the anxiety of what lay ahead. Never would she have chosen this path had she felt there was any other way.
Addy had helped her, had bought her a pregnancy test, but Vivian pretended she was too tired for that and begged Addy not to tell her parents about this. Yet. So far, Adrianna had kept her promise. But for how much longer?
Vivian took the test at home 2 weeks later. She already knew what it was going to read. She had been feeling sick and queasy so much of late. The test confirmed her fears and busted down the last bit of hope she had.
She spent most nights after that crying. Crying about her stupidity. She knew better. She was one of the best students at her school. She was not promiscuous, she didn’t normally fall for dumb platitudes and pick up lines. And yet, here we were. Life in shambles. She’d have to disappoint her parents, whom she normally had a really good relationship with, an open one with few to no secrets. And now for weeks this had been very different. But she had hope that maybe she did not need to tell them at all.
There finally a pathway up a hill, steep and lined with thick bushes and other plants, meticulously planted and groomed to give that tidy yet natural appearance. As she ascended, more and more of the house came into view. She passed a sign now, proclaiming “Welcome to Villa Auditore”. And there was the home, in all its glory. Man, those Auditores sure knew how to live. She had not met all of them, there were just too many and scattered through several cities, most of them in their hometown of Newcrest of course, where several generations ago their ancestors had immigrated to from Italy, already very wealthy then, only to multiply the wealth several times over with each new generation. She had seen two of the giant homes in Newcrest, she of course knew Ezio’s impressive home and Addy’s. And now here was yet another. In Windenburg on a private island only accessible by an hourly ferry for the public or by one of the boats, each of the several families who could afford real estate here owned at least one of.
Finally she had made it to the door of the house, it looked even bigger and more impressive up close, with an illuminated fountain, which had looked scenic and dainty from the road up, but now was massive, dwarfed only by the sheer size of the multi-story home next to it. In typical Auditore fashion, the home was ultra-modern in style and you could already guess all the luxuries that await inside. All Auditores seemed to inherit an impeccable sense for modern design, art and creature comforts. The doorbell echoed in some catchy, yet elegant tune.
A woman answered, obviously the woman of the house, slender as a model and just about as tall and pretty, in some apparent designer fashion, with a smile that was trained on through many a charitable events and boring business dinners as the support and arm candy of her wealthy businessman husband.
“Yes?” she smiled.
“Good evening. Umm.. I am Vivian, a … umm … friend of Lucca’s. Is he home, please?” Vivian asked shyly.
“He is, come on in girl, it is freezing out. Winter seems to want to come early this year. Burr.” the woman reply while waving Vivian inside. There now was also a man, obviously an Auditore, who came out of one the doors the large foyer was lined with, and greeted her now courteously, after his wife briefly introduced Vivian.
“Here let me take your coat” the man offered, but Vivian declined. Her swollen stomach was already hard to hide, especially for her very slender frame with the tighter clothing she used to prefer. The Cameron’s just did not have the money to go splurge on new clothing whenever you wanted – or needed – it, so she did her best to try to hide her ‘problem’ until it was no longer possible.
She was now asked into some sort of living room, those Auditore homes always had so many rooms where Vivian was rarely clear on their function or what to call them. This one did not have a TV so likely a holding pen for visitors or some sort.
More small talk ensued. A little girl walked past, was called over to politely introduce herself and then sent to fetch her brother.
Not long after they both appeared. Lucca looked surprised, but not in a good way.
“What are YOU doing here?” he asked rudely, right in front of his parents and little sister.
“Lucca … ” his mother warned.
“So? Why are you here? How do you even know where I live?” he barked.
“Everybody knows where you live. And I kinda wanted to talk to just you. It’s personal …” Vivian blushed.
“I have nothing personal to say to you. Say it right here or leave me alone.”
Vivian gasped. Tears began to rise, but she suppressed them, feeling embarrassed by everybody staring at her.
“You can talk, it’s fine, we do not bite.” Lucca’s mother now said.
Vivian opened her mouth but stuttered something unintelligible. A teen girl telling her boyfriend – nay, he wasn’t even that – her male friend, well, he wasn’t even a friend, if she was honest – anyway telling the boy who knocked her up that he knocked her up was bad enough on its own, without his family around. Maybe she should just go. Too late did she notice that tears were streaming.
The parents tried to comfort, Lucca tried to leave, called back by his father.
“Man, what a waste of time. I don’t know what that girl wants, I don’t even know her. I think we go to the same school, that is all.”
That was too much for Vivian.
“I am pregnant!” she yelled at him.
“Congrats. Hope you can find the daddy. Bye!”
“It’s by you! You’re the father!” she yelled and cried more.
Everyone froze in their tracks. Naturally, Lucca tried to downplay, but even his parents didn’t buy it.
“So what do you want from me now? Not my problem that you spread it for every guy who wants it and then are too dumb to take the pill! And you do not think for a second that you poor white trash can reel me in that way, that I would marry someone like you and raise some vampire trash with you? Or did you think you could have it made by anchoring yourself into the Auditore family by popping out some brat?!” Lucca hissed, his eyes narrowed.
“LUCCA AUDITORE – A WORD – IN PRIVATE!” the father roared and pulled the boy with him. Lucca’s mother comforted the crying Vivian. Minutes later both male Auditores came back, Lucca visibly tamed.
“OK .. umm .. Vivian, was it? Lucca and I would like to assure you that you will be financially taken care of, well, the child will be. Any of the birth expenses and all following as well. However, I hope you do understand the precarious situation for us, and that Lucca and all of us would like to defer any other contact to the child. The only support you will be guaranteed will be financial. Generously so, but that is as far as this can go, you understand?”
“I … I … don’t want that … I … need money… now. To make it go away. Take care of it.”
“I am sorry kiddo, but we Auditores are devout Catholics. None of us would ever give you money for something so … drastic. But rest assured, the child will lack nothing.”
“Can’t you just give me some money, like 2000 bucks, and I just don’t tell you what I need it for?”
Roberto Auditore just laughed. “Let me see you out. It gets dark so early and I will take you towards the path.” he put his hand on her upper back and started gently but firmly pushing her towards the door.
Outside the family once more confirmed their financial agreement and then they went inside. Vivian stood all alone by the cliffs. She walked up to the edge and looked down into the deep, angry ocean, the waves crashing and roaring into the rocks, foaming wildly and white.
If I were human here would be my solution. Just jump and done. Poor mom and dad though. Although, they will probably kill me anyway. Vivian had made this embarrassing dreadful trip in one last attempt to make the pregnancy go away without having to tell her parents. She hated that she would disappoint them so. They had raised her so well, she knew it was wrong while she was doing what was so wrong and yet, still did it, against better judgement. Her first time was already her worst time.
“Where have you been, Viv?” Blaine said as she unlocked the front door to her home, both parents stood in the opened living room door as she walked in.
“Oh gawd Vivian, what is wrong?” I now pulled her into my arms when I noticed Vivian’s tear stained face and reddened eyes.
“Mom, dad, can we talk? I have something to tell you …” she sniffed.
Blaine’s rant still echoed of the walls in Vivian’s small room, where she sat hunched over on the bed, me next to her, her father in a chair facing her. One of us had been yelling at her in her room, after she had changed out of her rain soaked clothing, we had yelled at her in the kitchen and in the living room. Somebody would always end up storming out during a discussion and the rest would follow for more yelling.
Vivian had never seen her parents this angry. Especially not her dad. Especially after she told them where she had been, and why – and what they had said. I had a hard time talking him out of going there and inflicting loads of oddly described torture ideas upon all of them.
Finally, after many hours of up and down discussion, the tears turned to hugs. We did not have to tell her that we would support her and be there every step of the way, she knew. Throughout all of this arguing, she said she still felt safe and home. Told us about her visit to Addy, and that Addy had been right. After the thunderstorm the air was clear for a new sunny day.
“You should go to bed, my angel”, Blaine said during the latest embrace. It was already starting to dawn signaling the next day.
“Ok, dad. And thanks!” A kiss on the cheek and a hug for both of us parents and she disappeared into her room.
Blaine plopped down on the couch next to me, I was still shaking my head.
“Happy anniversary!” Blaine pulled me in for a kiss and embrace.
Yeah, happy anniversary indeed …